I remember back in the 80s and 90s when doing a split record was a great idea, with each band getting a side of the vinyl and sharing the cost of pressing. You also got the 12″ cover image for each band on alternate sides of the sleeve. On a CD this idea becomes a little more difficult, as there are no sides, and 1 band shall need to be listed first. Now as a softcopy… I can see how as soon as I finish this review I am probably going to actually split the album into the two 4 track EPs: Infirmary’s ‘Suffering For Eternity’ and Aetherium Mors’s ‘Entrails of the Soul’, so I can have the correct covers for each band. But that may just be the OCD in me. But then again, I may just leave it as is.
Well, first up we have West Virginian Infirmary giving us their brand of death metal. The duo consists of guitartist/vocalist Aaron Carey and bassist/drummer Andrew D’Cagna and their opening track “Forced into the Flames” has the former growling menacingly over his buzzing guitar riffs and the soundly beaten drums.
“Beyond this Door” combines the buzzing guitar and blasted drums with a slightly slower but much heavier guitar riff which also runs as melodic anchor to the vocals.
The speed of the delivery of “Senility & Decrepitude” would leave an able minded in-duh-vidual wondering what had hit them as it broke down to its more choppy rhythm and melodious lead.
The complex guitar riff changes are perfectly in sync with the brutal snare battery on “Destruction Divine”, which also contains a bass solo just before very low growls resonate and bring the guitar assault back full force.
The English duo on this split comprises of multi-instrumentalist Dan Couch and vocalist Kane Nelson who together form Aetherium Mors. Kane’s rasps and shrieks along with the very clicky drum sound on “Entrails of the Soul” land it squarely in the black metal genre, as do the quickly changing but toppy guitar riffs.
While starting off gently “Ritual to Evince the Subsurface of Purity” rapidly descends into chaotic speeds before it reigns itself in with a guitar riff that sounds slow when compared to the blistering pace of the drums in the background.
The vocals on “Divine Order Without God” are spat out with plenty of venom and the lead guitar breaks are as fast as they are intricate, thereby making rather impressive to listen to.
Taking the more atmospheric route is “Souls Diseased by Faith”, but the intro short-lived before it too becomes a cacophony of guitars and drums over the extremely aggressive vocals adding their contempt to the lyrical content.
All in all, it’s a great idea to get these 8 tracks out there, but at the same time the EPs may be a little too short to give either band much justice. On the other hand they may be long enough to let listeners know if the bands are someone they would rather avoid or seek out more
(5/10 Marco Gaminara)